94 Williamstown, MA: White Walls

Ever wonder why all museum walls are white. It's to show off the art better. By looking at a white wall, you have an opportunity to rest your eyes and come back to viewing a painting with fresh eyes, a "clean palette" as it were.

Why white? An interesting thing about color is that it consists of both pigment and the light reflecting off of that pigment. In pigments, black is the presence of all colors at once (think what you would get if you smeared all your paints into one blob). So white gives you the chance to look at a color absent of pigments so that you will be better able to see the painters' chosen colors when you go back to looking at the paintings.

The paradox is that in light (as opposed to pigment), white is the presence of all colors (wavelengths), and black is the absence (where was Moses when the lights went out?).

Ever wonder why I am telling you this?

(To rest your eyes.)

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